This Guy Shot a Porno on the Westboro Baptist Church’s Lawn
A week ago, Get Shot! was a relatively unknown punk band in Sacramento, but two days ago they released “Westboro Fingerbang,” a video of their bassist, Laura, masturbating on the front lawn of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. Since then, they’ve received over a thousand new facebook likes and literally become famous over night. I got in touch with the band’s lead singer, J.P. Hunter, to talk about why he made the movie and what’s next for Get Shot!
Why did you decide to shoot porn on the Westboro Baptist Church’s lawn? J.P. Hunter: Everything in the book has been done to Westboro, but no one has actually filmed porn in front of their church. They’re used to going to other people’s sacred territory: gay soldiers funerals, other churches, Bon Jovi concerts, you name it. We’re trying to put a stance out that says, “Don’t be scared, you can fuck with these people.”
How did you make the video? We tour. We went to Kansas City, Topeka, and Denver, and we planned the little Westboro stunt. We were supposed to have a porn star and some other chick do it, but the porn star’s agent called and said it violated her contract with her company, so she couldn’t do it, and the other girl didn’t want to get arrested. We didn’t want to leave Topeka empty handed, and our bass player Laura wanted to leave sticky fingered.
Unmasking Lucien Greaves, Leader of the Satanic Temple
VICE: Is the Satanic Temple a satanic, or a satirical group? Doug: That is a common question. I say why can’t it be both? We are coming from a solid philosophy that we absolutely believe in and adhere to. This is Satanism, and to us it couldn’t be called anything other than Satanism. However, our metaphor of Satan is a literary construct inspired by authors such as Anatole France and Milton—a rebel angel defiant of autocratic structure and concerned with the material world. Satanism as a rejection of superstitious supernaturalism. This Satan, of course, bears no resemblance to the embodiment of all cruelty, suffering, and negativity believed in by some apocalyptic segments of Judeo-Christian culture. The word Satan has no inherent value. If one acts with compassion in the name of Satan, one has still acted with compassion. Our very presence as civic-minded socially responsible Satanists serves to satirize the ludicrous superstitious fears that the word Satan tends to evoke.
Reminds me of a darker version of the Yes Men. Yes. Just as the Yes Men use very catching theatrical ploys to draw attention to a progressive agenda, we play upon people’s irrational fears in a way that hopefully causes them to reevaluate what they think they know, redefine arbitrary labels, and judge people for their concrete actions. I believe that where reason fails to persuade, satire and mockery prevail. Whereas many religious groups seem to eschew humor, we embrace it.
Mississippi Police Want to Arrest the Satanists Who Turned the Founder of the Westboro Baptist Church’s Dead Mom Gay
Just over a week ago the Satanic Temple, unwavering disciples of the Prince of Darkness and aspiring adopt-a-highway participants, performed a Pink Mass over the grave of Catherine Idalette Johnston, the mother of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps Jr. Westboro has yet to officially comment on the eternal gaying of its leader’s dead mom, but the owner of the cemetery where the ceremony was performed has filed charges with the local police department. The captain of the Meridian PD, Dean Harper, told local news station WTOK-TV on Monday that they were “in the process of constructing affidavits” and “will have [the satanists] arrested as soon as [they] can.” He added, “It is an unusual crime that we haven’t come across—to my knowledge—in a while.” Lol.
Harper told the Huffington Post today that the original charges of tresspasing, malicious mischief, and indecent exposure (thanks to Lucien teabagging Catherine Johnston’s grave, which can be seen here) have been dropped because “the judge refused to sign a warrant on them.” In the end, Lucien has been charged with desecration of a grave.
The Satanic Temple, a burgeoning community of worship devoted to the Dark Lord, has performed a “Pink Mass” over the grave of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps Jr.’s mother. The Pink Mass is a Satanic ritual performed after death that turns the deceased’s straight spirit into a homo one—it’s not unlike the Mormon practice of baptizing the dead, only much gayer.
On Sunday the Satanic Temple, which first came into the national spotlight last January when the organizationannounced its support for Florida Governor Rick Scott, went to the Phelps family graveyard in Mississippi to perform the ritual. (Two Pink Masses were performed, one with a female couple and another with men.) I contacted Lucien Greaves, the Temple’s spokesperson and officiator of the ceremony, to find out what exactly the Pink Mass entials. While he didn’t get into specifics, he told told me via email that “there were, in fact, scriptures recited, candles lit, and a ceremonial proceeding that we may eventually post the details of at our website, westboro-baptist.com. That is, if the Pink Mass generates sufficient interest to the point that other responsible parties, respectful of the graveyard, wish to perform their own.”
The idea for the mass came about in April, when the WBC announced their intention to protest the funerals of the Boston Bombing victims. The church never showed up, but later issued a statement saying they were there “in spirit.” As is always the case when WBC does or says anything, both the initial plans and the subsequent statement pissed off everyone in the world, including Satanists. And so, according to a press release, the Satanic Temple decided that a ceremony celebrating same-sex couples “at the gravesite of Fred Phelps’ mother was an appropriate way to meet the Westboro Baptists, ‘in spirit,’ but this time on our terms.”
We followed the story of the Westboro Baptist Church as families split and children were brainwashed into picketing funerals and bashing homosexuals.
During that time, we interviewed more than a dozen members of the reviled group, including some of the only members not related by blood, the Drains. They welcomed us into their homes and gave us access to 17 years of home video footage. In return, we produced an unbiased look into the lives of one of America’s most despised organizations.
A Guy From Westboro Baptist Church (of “God Hates Fags” fame) Wrote Us Record Reviews
After Westboro Baptist Church’s big Radiohead protest last week, we talked tunes with the church’s marketing guy, Steve “God Hates Fags” Drain. We realized early on in our chat that Drain was like the Alex Ross of the religious right—his music sensibility was surprisingly discerning. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tap into some of his divine music criticism and share it with all of you. So, we sent him a few links to some of our favorite new music videos and asked him to evaluate these morally repugnant songs on spiritual and musical grounds. He had the awesome idea of rating the tracks with a nifty picket sign scale, one picket sign being the least morally bankrupt and five picket signs being the absolute worst.
Here is what the Kansas man of girth and taste had to say about popular songs:
IGGY AZALEA - MY WORLD
I don’t know what’s going on with her. I know we get desperate and we’re starved for music and performers, but damn. Back when I was a kid, we never saw who our rock and roll idols were unless they put themselves on the album cover. We didn’t care when we found out that Jeff Lynne is ugly as sin and Tom Petty was even uglier, because we liked their music first. Today, the music industry has gotten so that raw musical talent, composition, and singing skills often take the backseat. This isn’t even well-produced. I could listen to a lot of songs that Dr. Dre produced, and it doesn’t matter if I don’t like the lyrics or the style of the rapping, because Dr. Dre knows how to put together a song. But with Iggy Azalea, I just don’t know what the attraction is. She’s not even good-looking. She’s a nasty-lookin’ thing. She has a radio face. She can’t even rap. There’s just nothing there.
Musical: 5 Picket Signs
Spiritual: 5 Picket Signs
GRIMES – OBLIVION
Musically, I would call this Flock of Seagulls meets Tiffany. I can tell she’s trying to be a little “cultural” and a little “underground.” Lyrically, it looks like somebody killed her lover and she feels really alone. She is playing around with some moral concepts here that aren’t downright filthy, but it’s still morally bankrupt and not exciting enough to float my boat. And she’s Canadian. God hates Canada. Did you know that Canada actually has a law in the books called the “Fred Phelps Law”? They’ve banned us from preaching in the country. There was a guy named Svend Robinson, a legislator in Canada, who proposed the bill. After that guy introduced the legislation, he got arrested and convicted on shoplifting charges. He stole a diamond ring from a jewelry store. So yeah, there’s a little interesting side-note for you: God hates Canada.
Arguing about music is one of my favorite pastimes. So, when I heard the regularly inflammatory Westboro Baptist Church was weighing in on the Great Radiohead Debate, I jumped at the opportunity to talk shop with them. Do they think they’ve sold out? Has the mystical glimmer left Thom’s lazy eye? Well, it turns out that I, a fornicating atheist black dude who writes for a magazine called VICE and lives in a modern version of Sodom, and Steve Drain, a Southerner who does media outreach and marketing for Westboro (one of the most offensive political-religious groups ever), have a little in common when it comes to the postmodern English rock band: We both think OK Computerwas the shit, and it just hasn’t been the same ever since.
Steve joined up with Westboro about 11 years ago after traveling to Kansas from Florida to shoot a documentary on them. He’s pretty confident in his interpretation of all things related to J.C., and he speaks very loud whenever he’s talking about God or gays or purgatory. But all-and-all, he was a nice guy. And he’s a fan of Led Zeppelin. Who can hate on that?
Why hate Radiohead? It’s not that there is a problem with Radiohead that doesn’t exist with other groups. Radiohead just puts themselves out there as a “thinky,” deep band.
What’s wrong with that? In an offhand manor they kind of reject every standard of god as being archaic and not worthy of moral consideration. Some bands are good time bands—Radiohead isn’t that. They teach the youth of America that the standards of God don’t mean anything and that they are free to oppose them.
Really? They say that? I often have a hard time figuring out what the fuck they’re talking about. What do you hear in the music? So God says it’s not OK to be gay. Radiohead says it’s OK to be gay. God says no divorce, no re-marriage. But Radiohead won’t preach that truth. God Almighty says thou shall not kill. But where’s Radiohead in all this? They think of themselves as voice of authority for the youth of America, but where are they on these issues?
OK, Radiohead is a no-go. What kind of stuff are you guys rocking at the WBC? Well, I listen to Radiohead.
Ya do? Of course I do. At some level you have to be able to separate the art from the artist. Everybody’s got to do that. We’re music lovers at the church. I listen to Radiohead, Audioslave, Band of Skulls. I listen to lots of good stuff.
So, what’s the problem? But the point here is, when these musicians come to town that put themselves off as a voice of moral authority and yet reject the standards of God for a more bohemian outlook, we’re going to preach about it.
Where do you think Radiohead is spiritually? The guys that make up the band Radiohead, they are walking in the dim light of their own sparks. They are groping around moral darkness. And we’re out there with the only remedy for that.
Aren’t you a hypocrite for listening to Radiohead and protesting Radiohead? No. Not at all. Haven’t you ever watched a movie that you enjoyed but then you found out that one of the stars did something in the moral realm as reprehensible?